B-3259, JULY 28, 1939, 19 COMP. GEN. 116

B-3259: Jul 28, 1939

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CONTRACTS - MISTAKES - BIDS - CORRECTION WHERE THERE IS NO ROOM FOR DOUBT THAT THE UNIT PRICES QUOTED IN CONNECTION WITH ADVERTISED SPECIFICATIONS WERE INTENDED TO BE PER AMPOULE AND NOT PER BOX OF TEN AMPOULES. THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE SAID PRICES AND THE PRICES QUOTED BY OTHER BIDDERS WAS SUFFICIENT TO HAVE PLACED THE CONTRACTING OFFICER ON NOTICE THAT THE PRICES QUOTED WERE PER AMPOULE AND NOT PER BOX. IF ANY PAYMENTS HAVE BEEN MADE AT THE ORIGINAL BID PRICES AS SPECIFIED IN THE CONTRACT. VOUCHERS FOR THE ADDITIONAL AMOUNTS ARE FOR SETTLEMENT BY THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE AS CLAIMS. 1939: THERE WAS RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 30. AS FOLLOWS: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF MAY 2.

B-3259, JULY 28, 1939, 19 COMP. GEN. 116

CONTRACTS - MISTAKES - BIDS - CORRECTION WHERE THERE IS NO ROOM FOR DOUBT THAT THE UNIT PRICES QUOTED IN CONNECTION WITH ADVERTISED SPECIFICATIONS WERE INTENDED TO BE PER AMPOULE AND NOT PER BOX OF TEN AMPOULES, AND THAT THE BIDDER, THROUGH MISUNDERSTANDING OF THE ADVERTISED SPECIFICATIONS, FAILED TO SO QUALIFY ITS BID, AND THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE SAID PRICES AND THE PRICES QUOTED BY OTHER BIDDERS WAS SUFFICIENT TO HAVE PLACED THE CONTRACTING OFFICER ON NOTICE THAT THE PRICES QUOTED WERE PER AMPOULE AND NOT PER BOX, PAYMENT FOR FUTURE DELIVERIES MAY BE MADE ON THAT BASIS, THE BID WHEN CONSIDERED ON THE INTENDED BASIS STILL BEING THE LOWEST BID RECEIVED, BUT, IF ANY PAYMENTS HAVE BEEN MADE AT THE ORIGINAL BID PRICES AS SPECIFIED IN THE CONTRACT, VOUCHERS FOR THE ADDITIONAL AMOUNTS ARE FOR SETTLEMENT BY THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE AS CLAIMS.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL BROWN TO THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY, JULY 28, 1939:

THERE WAS RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 30, 1939, AS FOLLOWS:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF MAY 2, 1939 (B-3259), RELATIVE TO A LETTER RECEIVED FROM THE UNIVERSITY LABORATORIES, 609 NORTH GRAND BOULEVARD, ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI, REGARDING AWARDS UNDER ITEMS 51-T 6055, 51 -T-6056, AND 51-T-6057, COVERING TRYPARSAMIDE, CLASS 51, ISSUED BY THE PROCUREMENT DIVISION OF THIS DEPARTMENT UNDER THE GENERAL SCHEDULE OF SUPPLIES, FOR THE PERIOD FEBRUARY 1, 1939, TO JANUARY 31, 1940.

THE SPECIFICATIONS CONTAINED IN THE INVITATION TO BID ARE AS FOLLOWS:

"TRYPARSAMIDE; PRICES BID SHALL INCLUDE DELIVERY TO ANY POINT IN THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES FROM NEAREST DISTRIBUTOR; FURNISH LIST OF DISTRIBUTORS:

10 AMPOULES TO BOX;

(A) EACH (B) BY THE DOZ. UNIT 51 T-6055 ONE-GRAM AMPOULES

BOX 51-6-6056 2-GRAM AMPOULES BOX 51-T-6057 3-GRAM AMPOULES BOX 51-T-6060 50-GRAM BOTTLES:

BOX

(1) BY THE DOZEN DOZ.

(2) BY THE GROSS DOZ.'

IN SETTING UP THE BID FORMS IN THIS MANNER IT WAS INTENDED THAT PRICES SHOULD BE SUBMITTED ON EACH BOX TOP OF TEN AMPOULES AND ALSO ON LOTS OF ONE DOZEN BOXES, THE COLUMN HEADED " UNIT" BEING DESIGNED TO INDICATE THE BASIS ON WHICH PRICES WERE TO BE SUBMITTED RATHER THAN A MERE INDICATION OF THE DESIRED PACKAGING. IT IS NOT UNDERSTOOD WHY THIS MEANING WAS NOT CLEAR TO ALL BIDDERS SINCE THE INDICATED " UNIT" FOR OTHER ITEMS IN THE SAME BID FORM INCLUDED "DOZEN," "EACH," "100," ETC.

THE PRICES RECEIVED, AS SET FORTH ON THE ENCLOSED TABULATION, VARY TO SUCH AN EXTENT, HOWEVER, THAT THERE MUST HAVE BEEN SOME MISUNDERSTANDING IN THIS REGARD. UNIVERSITY LABORATORIES AND MACKALL BROS. QUOTED PRICES RANGING FROM $0.133 TO 10.22 UNDER THE COLUMN HEADED "/A) EACH" ON AMPOULES OF ALL THREE SIZES, AND ON THE SAME ITEMS, Z. D. GILMAN, INC., AND MCKESSON AND ROBBINS, INC., QUOTED PRICES RANGING FROM $1.40 TO $2.20. MACKALL BROS. STRUCK THE DESIGNATED " UNIT" FROM ITS BID, INDICATED THAT THE PRICES QUOTED WERE NOT PER BOX BUT PER AMPOULE. FROM A REVIEW OF ITS BID AT THIS TIME IT IS EVIDENT THAT THE UNIVERSITY LABORATORIES INTENDED TO BID PER AMPOULE AND NOT PER BOX, BUT THERE IS NOTHING ON THE FACE OF THE BID SO TO INDICATE.

THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE PRICES QUOTED BY UNIVERSITY LABORATORIES AND THOSE OF THE OTHER BIDDERS WERE SO GREAT AND IT IS BELIEVED SUCH A QUOTATION SHOULD HAVE BEEN RECOGNIZED AS AN OBVIOUS ERROR. IT IS NOW APPARENT THE INTENTION OF UNIVERSITY LABORATORIES WAS TO QUOTE PRICES PER AMPOULE AND NOT THE BASIS OF ITS BID PRIOR TO MAKING THE AWARD. THE CONTRACT WAS AWARDED WITHOUT SUCH CONFIRMATION, HOWEVER, AND WAS FORWARDED TO THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE FOR FILING ON MARCH 16, 1939.

PLEASE ADVISE THE DEPARTMENT OF YOUR DISPOSITION OF THIS CASE IN ORDER THAT THE AGENCIES WHICH MAY PLACE ORDERS FOR THESE ITEMS MAY BE PROMPTLY ADVISED OF ANY CHANGE IN THE SCHEDULE THAT MAY BE NECESSITATED THEREBY.

IN ACCORDANCE WITH YOUR REQUEST A COPY OF THE ADVERTISED SPECIFICATIONS IS ENCLOSED, TOGETHER WITH THE ABOVE-MENTIONED TABULATION OF ALL BIDS RECEIVED.

EXAMINATION OF CONTRACT TPS-27511, DATED JANUARY 31, 1939, ON FILE IN THIS OFFICE, DISCLOSES THAT AWARD WAS MADE TO THE UNIVERSITY LABORATORIES ON ITEMS 51-T-6055, 51-T-6056, AND 51-T-6057, TRYPARSAMIDE, AT THE RESPECTIVE PRICES OF $0.133, $0.171, AND $0.209 PER BOX OF 10 AMPOULES. IN COMPARISON WITH SUCH PRICES, THE BID TABULATIONS SUBMITTED WITH YOUR LETTER SHOW THAT THE BID OF MACKALL BROS., WHICH STRUCK OUT THE UNIT DESIGNATED IN THE SPECIFICATIONS WAS IN THE RESPECTIVE AMOUNTS OF $0.14, $0.18, AND $0.22 ON THE 3 ITEMS INVOLVED, AND THAT THE BIDS OF Z. D. GILMAN, NC., AND MCKESSON AND ROBBINS, INC., WERE IN THE RESPECTIVE AMOUNTS OF $1.40, $1.80, AND $2.20 PER BOX OF 10 AMPOULES.

THERE APPEARS TO BE NO ROOM FOR DOUBT THAT THE UNIT PRICES QUOTED BY THE UNIVERSITY LABORATORIES WERE INTENDED TO BE PER AMPOULE AND NOT PER BOX OF 10 AMP0ULES, AND THAT THE BIDDER, THROUGH MISUNDERSTANDING OF THE ADVERTISED SPECIFICATIONS, FAILED TO SO QUALIFY ITS BID. IT APPEARS, ALSO, AS INDICATED IN YOUR LETTER, THAT THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE PRICES QUOTED BY THE UNIVERSITY LABORATORIES AND BY THE OTHER BIDDERS WAS SUFFICIENT TO HAVE PLACED THE CONTRACTING OFFICER ON NOTICE THAT THE PRICES QUOTED IN THE LOW BID WERE INTENDED TO BE PER AMPOULE AND NOT PER BOX OF 10 AMPOULES.

ACCORDINGLY, SINCE THE BID OF THE UNIVERSITY LABORATORIES ON ITEMS 51-T- 6055, 51-T-6056, AND 51-T-6057 WHEN CONSIDERED ON THE INTENDED BASIS, PER AMPOULE, IS STILL THE LOWEST RECEIVED, PAYMENT MAY BE MADE ON THAT BASIS FOR DELIVERIES UNDER SAID ITEMS, OR, IF ANY PAYMENTS HAVE ALREADY BEEN MADE AT THE RATES PER BOX SPECIFIED IN THE CONTRACT, VOUCHERS FOR THE ADDITIONAL AMOUNTS CLAIMED SHOULD BE FORWARDED TO THIS OFFICE FOR SETTLEMENT AS CLAIMS.